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VOICE OF YOUTH ADVOCATES -- reviewed by Teri Lesesne

Darren Shan is back for his fifth adventure. Still inside Vampire Mountain for the conclave of vampires, Darren has agreed to face the vampire trials. He must successfully accomplish five trials or forfeit his life. With assistance from his friends and fellow vampires, Darren navigates the Aquatic Maze and endures the Path of Needles and Hall of Flames. When he is fighting the Blooded Boars, however, Darren receives some unsolicited help, thus failing Darren at his trials and forcing him to face a certain death. Will Darren make his escape? Is this the end of the saga of Darren Shan? Fans of the series will again line up to devour this latest installment of Darren's story. Loads of action and gruesome adventures cram the story of a young man coming to terms with his vampiric nature. Darren begins to grow a bit as a person, a rarity in most serialized characters, making this book as interesting to read as the first installment in the story. Of course, there is plenty of gore to satisfy the bloodthirsty, with the promise of much more to come. There are far too few horror stories to offer middle school and junior high students. This series, although grisly in detail, is still appropriate for the younger fans of the vampire genre. Any chapter would make a riveting read-aloud as they end leaving the reader wondering what will happen next.

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